McSweeney’s to officially become a nonprofit


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After 16 years, San Francisco-based publishing house McSweeney’s is officially becoming a nonprofit, the independent media company announced Thursday, October 16. The Dave Eggers-founded business, which has published works by Jonathan Lethem, Nick Hornby, Lydia Davis, Michael Chabon, David Foster Wallace and more, will apply for nonprofit status next month and is already accepted tax-deductable donations.

A statement on the McSweeney’s web site reads, “We believe that becoming a nonprofit will allow McSweeney’s to sustain itself for many years to come, with the help of an expanded community of donors, writers, and readers. We want to continue to pursue a wide range of ambitious projects — projects that take risks, that support ideas beyond the mainstream marketplace, and that nurture emerging work. A nonprofit structure, with a board and members supporting our efforts alongside our staff and writers, will allow us to put new resources behind all our undertakings, and explore a number of exciting projects that, until now, were out of reach.”

“We’ve always been a hand-to-mouth operation, and every year it gets just a little harder to be an independent publisher,” Eggers told the San Francisco Chronicle. “An independent literary title that might have sold 10,000 copies 10 years ago might sell 6,000 now, for example.”

Since its formation in 1998, McSweeney’s has launched a variety of critically acclaimed magazines, web sites, literary journals, novels, children’s books and criticism, gaining popularity for their high profile contributors and quirky, off-center material. The publishing house will apply for nonprofit status within the next month in hopes of becoming a 501(c)(3) organization within a year, following the example of nonprofit publishers like Graywolf and Copper Canyon.

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